Antibiotic sales in primary care in Hubei Province, China: An analysis of 2012–2017 procurement records Academic Article uri icon


  • The over-use of antibiotics has been identified as a major global challenge, where there is insufficient knowledge about the use of antibiotics in primary healthcare settings, especially at a population level. This study aims to investigate the trends and patterns of antibiotic sales in primary care in Hubei, China over a six-year period from 2012 to 2017. Antibiotic sales were expressed with Defined Daily Doses per 1000 inhabitants per day (DIDs) and compared with European countries using the 12 quality indicators proposed by the scientific advisory board of the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) project. Antibiotic sales increased from 12.8 DID in 2012 to 15.3 DID in 2013, and then declined afterwards. The most commonly used antibiotics, J01C (beta-lactam antimicrobials, penicillins), accounted for 40.5% of total antibiotic sales. Parenteral administration of antibiotics accounted for over 50% of total antibiotic sales. Total antibiotic sales were almost on a par with the 31 European countries monitored by the ESAC project, but cephalosporin sales were higher than at least three quarters of the compared countries, resulting in a significant higher proportion of third-generation cephalosporin consumption (13.8–19.43%). The relative consumption of Fluoroquinolone (9.26–9.89%) was also higher than at least half of the compared countries. There is a lack of robust evidence to show that antibiotic consumption in primary care is lower in Hubei compared with other countries. The preference of clinicians in China to use broad-spectrum and parenteral antibiotics deserves further study and policy attention.


  • Zhang, Xinping
  • Cui, Youwen
  • Liu, Chaojie
  • Zuo, Keyuan
  • Tang, Yuqing

publication date

  • 2019